REPORT CARD: Women's Hoops, Pre-SEC

Is there a more complete basketball team anywhere in college basketball – men or women's – than the LSU Lady Tigers?

Can you name a weakness anywhere on this team?


Point guard? Shooting guard? Height? Speed? Depth? Coaching?


Nope. No where. No how.


From first glance, the obvious strength of Pokey Chatman's team, which by the way is ranked No. 1 in the nation, is at guard and center. All-everything shooting guard Seimone Augustus is the premiere player in all of women's college hoops. Teamed with senior sparkplug Temeka Johnson, LSU has without a doubt, the best backcourt in the nation.


And how can you miss the Lady Tigers 6-5 giant in the paint.


Freshman Sylvia Fowles has shown throughout the first 12 games she can grown into the most dominant big man (er… woman) in the game. Although she doesn't start, Fowles is, with good reason, the most recognizable player at LSU.


Depth will never be an issue. Chatman had one of the highest rated recruiting classes a year ago signing five, top-notch freshmen, including Fowles. Coupled with the talent already on the LSU roster, the Lady Tigers can go 12 to 13, even 14 deep with little to no dropoff.


And coaching?


Not only did Chatman step in for Sue Gunter when she fell ill a year ago. But she led the Lady Tigers to the program's first-ever Final Four and had LSU two points away from the national championship game. For her efforts, she was awarded the BCA Female National Coach of the Year Award.


Known as a tireless recruiter, Chatman has assembled the most talented team in the nation, has the Lady Tigers ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in 25 years and is attracting new fans to the sport as seen by the upward spiraling attendance figures at the Maravich Assembly Center.


After a dozen games and a perfect slate, including four wins over ranked opposition, some ask the question can these Lady Tigers be beaten. With Connecticut and Tennessee reeling with several early losses, LSU appears to be the team to beat in women's college hoops.





Can anymore be said.


The top 1-2 tandem in the country is Johnson and Augustus.


Johnson, who returned to LSU for her senior season, is the engine that makes this Lady Tigers team go. With her lightning fast speed and quick release on jump shots, Johnson will be an all-American – again.


As for Augustus, the preseason national player of the year and a Kodak All-American last season, the Baton Rouge native is averaging 20.4 points per game and is shooting 57.6-percent (98-of-170) from the floor.


Toss in the fact that last year's sixth-man sensation Scholanda Hoston is now settled into a starting role and averaging 9.0 per game, including a 33-percent mark from beyond the three-point line, and it is hard to argue there is no one better than this trio.


Grade: A+





Yes, that's right, she is 6-5 and doesn't start.


The freshman Fowles does come off the bench, but she is the team's second leading scorer with 12.4 points per game and is the Lady Tigers' leading rebounder with 9.5 each contest. Before coming to LSU, she was a legend in Florida and was known to dunk in high school games, but she has yet to throw one down in the college ranks.


If Fowles, doesn't start, then who does.


Well, LSU does sport two of the better forwards in the women's college game in Wendlyn Jones and Tillie Willis. Jones, who is a tenacious defender is putting up 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while Willis, who is substituted with Fowles, is garnering 3.4 points, but 4.3 boards each contest.


Grade: A+





This is a no brainer.


Chatman has her team ranked No. 1 in the land the closest anyone has come to beating the Lady Tigers was a 71-70 victory over Baylor, a game in which LSU blew a 21-point second half lead.


The Lady Tigers have survived a brutal road swing, did not play a game at home for one calendar month and remains No. 1 in the polls. Chatman has done a good job managing personnel and substitutes with precision all the while maintaining consistency and intensity.




Grade: A+





The freshman class.


No one expected this crop of newcomers to have this type of impact so soon, most especially Fowles and freshman Quianna Chaney.


We have already talked at length about Fowles and as for Chaney, let's just say the farther she is away from the basket, the more the shots fall. Chaney, a native of Baton Rouge and a Southern Lab product, has uncanny range beyond the arch and has been a valuable weapon coming off the bench for Chatman's ball club.

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